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Agile vs. Lean : a systematic literature review comparing underlying principles, work-floor practices, and team-level behaviours

Layik, Denny (2021) Agile vs. Lean : a systematic literature review comparing underlying principles, work-floor practices, and team-level behaviours.

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Abstract:This paper aims to understand how agile and lean management differ or overlap in terms of the principles, work-floor practices, and team-level behaviours. Both management approaches seek for improving the effectiveness and performance of organisational processes. Agile management is a managerial philosophy to react adequately to changes in the environment by incrementally delivering to the customer and focussing on adaptability and flexibility. Lean management is a managerial philosophy to deliver cost- and time efficient to the customer by eliminating waste and focussing on continuous improvement. Previous comparative literature studies between agile and lean focused mainly on the manufacturing processes while mainly neglecting the human facet. Therefore, this paper tries to fill this gap by conducting a systematic literature review focussing on agile and lean management, thereby incorporating the human aspect expressed in team-level behaviours. This paper reports a systematic literature review (SLR) described by Wolfswinkel, Furtmueller, and Wilderom (2013). The initial dataset incorporated 3.306 articles, which eventually led to a final corpus of 39 relevant articles after applying exclusion criteria. Within these 39 articles, an inductive coding approach was conducted to get complete and unbiased themes. Results show that there is, to a certain extent, overlapping between the two management approaches regarding how they support continuous improvement, organise- and conduct periodic meetings, and structure teams (self-organisation and cross-functionality). However, both management approaches differ in their implementation goal (cost vs. service), continuous improvement practices, and leadership style- and behaviours (changing over time). To conclude, we put forward various theoretical and practical implications for scholars and practitioners. In line with these implications, a variety of future research topics will be discussed for a more successful understanding of the differences and similarities between the agile and lean paradigms. The following future research implications have been formulated: further discovery of a combined approach, team members behaviours focus, same sectors comparison, the team instead of organisational focus, and the essence of longitudinal studies.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:85 business administration, organizational science
Programme:Business Administration MSc (60644)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/86125
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